Riots in London have damaged the capital’s reputation as a place to do business and could not have come at a worse time.
A poll of London firms for the London Chamber of Commerce found that 83% believe the city has suffered while 73% agreed that this has highlighted the potential threat of civil disorder during the Olympic Games next year.
More than a quarter of businesses (27%) were considering closing early in order to protect their premises and staff from the riots, and a similar amount (26%) have increased security at their business premises, the study found.
Almost half of London firms (48%) were worried that the riots might spread to their part of town and, of those, 59% were making contingency arrangements for that possibility. A quarter said the riots were already taking place in their part of London.
London’s businesses will be pleased that there was a much bigger police presence on the streets last night, according the the chamber, as 91% agreed that officers should be allowed to use greater force to stop the rioters.
Chief executive Colin Stanbridge said:“These figures highlight the fact that the riots could not come at a worse time for the capital.
“With the Olympics only a year away, the eyes of the world were already turning to London and unfortunately the events of the last few days are what international audiences have seen.
“These figures also show that businesses have struggled to cope with the immediate impact of the riots.
“At a time when the capital’s businesses should be focusing on growth and job creation, the riots have prevented them from going about their day-to-day business.
“Many firms have had to put contingency plans in place, with some forced to close early in order to save their property from possible criminal damage.”
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